Originally Posted by mollmeister
I was starting to get really disgruntled with this thread and then I read this post and felt a little better.
1. I love American opinions about celebrities and celebrity athletes. We think we know them because we saw them on "60 Minutes" or read a partially-fictionalized tabloid tell-all. At the end of the day, how do you think any of us would come off sitting across from an interviewer on national TV? Probably at least some part of the interview would leave America with the impression that we are dumb, jerks, or worse. And then the increasingly tabloid-esque media would have a field day with whatever remarks would get them the biggest headlines. Sigh.
2. Bode has always, from day one as a racer, been inconsistent. Always. My friend's brother raced with him, back in NH, back in the day, and he would likely tell you the same thing. However, at the end of the day, his inconsistency and on-the-edge style is what made him brilliant. If you go back and read early articles about Bode, they don't talk about his reliability. They talk about surprises. About pushing the envelope. About barely holding on. About crashing. But brilliance, nonetheless. And sure, he's gotten more consistent the last few years. But there have still been surprises, some eccentricities. Because it's an Olympic year, however, we expect him to rein in the wildness that's always been who Bode is and become what? I for one think that would be kind of dull. . . and, well, inconsistent. :
3. Why do we think that athletic stardom = nice, charming, personable behavior? Are all fanatically driven people (because that's what it takes to excel at a world-class level in anything) just like you and me? Most likely not. They're eccentric. They're egotistical. They're focused on winning, not being friends. Or they're focused on getting the paprazzi to leave them alone. Or they're focused on figuring out how to live a normal life with a whole city's/state's/nation's attention focused on them. They're probably not going to behave like you and me. They're going to trash a few hotel rooms. They're going to come off as antisocial. They're going to have a string of screwed up relationships. They're going to get drunk and do something stupid. Oh wait. Most of us have done that. We just didn't have the international media reporting on it.
4. He's doing his job the best he can. His job is to ski. His job is to ski the best he can on a given day, and I somehow don't think 5th place in the Olympic DH is that horrible. His job is to wear the labels of his sponsors when he's getting media attention, and he's sure getting plenty of that.
Maybe we're all just a little jealous that we don't get paid to ski and drink in Europe?
I DO expect them to try, though, and to do everything possible to win. I also expect their actions to match their words, especially when their words are so idealistic. I think Bode is trying to have it both ways. Anyone can afford to be independent and countercultural when sponsored by Nike!